Valentine's Day Dumpling Cookies

Kawaii dumpling cookies has been on my to-bake list for a while now, and with Valentine’s Day and Chinese New Year coming up,  I jumped at the opportunity to finally make them. Paired with cheeky pun cookies, these sugary dumpling treats are sou-per adorable, and will have you wonton more. They are the perfect handmade gift, whether they're for your close friends, or someone you may have some fillings for ;)

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Sugar Cookies

  • 230g butter (room temperature)
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1.5 tsp vanilla bean paste
  •  2.5 cups plain flour 

Directions
1. Mix butter and sugar in a stand mixer until soft and creamy (over whipping could cause the cookies to spread while baking). Add egg and vanilla until just incorporated.

2. Gradually add in flour to the wet mixture. You will need to scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula every once in a while. The dough is ready when it begins to slightly pull away from the sides of the bowl. Shape dough into 2 discs, and wrap in cling wrap. Chill in the fridge for at least 1 hour.

3. When dough is ready, pre-heat oven to 175 C (fan forced). Roll out dough between 2 sheets of parchment paper to approximately 1/4 inch thick. Cut cookie dough into desired shapes, and place on lined baking tray. I got my dumpling cookie cutters custom made over at Cookie Cutter Kingdom! Place in freezer for approximately 15 minutes before baking.

4. Bake for 12 -15 minutes, or when cookies begin to slightly brown around the edges. The time could be shorter or longer, depending on the size of the cookies.

5. Cool cookies on baking tray for 5 minutes before transferring onto a wire rack. Cool completely before decorating. 


Royal Icing

  • 500g icing sugar
  • 2 TBS meringue powder*
  • 1/4 cup warm water
  • 2 TBSP lemon juice
  • Gel food colouring of choice

*If you are based in Australia, you can use Pavlova Magic if you can’t get your hands on meringue powder; which can easily be found at the supermarket. Alternatively, you can replace the powder and water with egg white if preferred. 

Directions
1. Mix sifted icing sugar and meringue powder in a large bowl.

2. Add in warm water and lemon juice (or other flavouring of choice), and mix on low -  medium speed for approximately 5 minutes until white and glossy.

3. Divide and mix in food colouring accordingly. Depending on the icing consistency you are after, more water will be required for a thinner/spreadable icing.

4. Transfer icing into sturdy piping bags - either with fitted tips, or the tip cut off.
 

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Xiao Long Bao
1. Ice the base of the cookie with white icing and leave to dry completely* (or until the surface of the icing has set).
2. Pipe on thin white lines to add a little bit texture.
3. Draw on the face with black royal icing.
4. Add on ‘blush’ using red powdered food colouring and a small brush. 

*Royal icing generally takes at least 6-8 hours to dry completely, though it could take longer in more humid climates. I suggest leaving them to dry overnight for best results.

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Siu Mai
1. Ice the bottom two thirds of the cookie with yellow icing and leave to set.
2. Add on brown icing at the top of the cookie, and leave the base to dry completely.
3. Pipe on a yellow border around the brown icing, then stick on orange sprinkles or small fondant balls with edible adhesive.
4. Add on faces with black icing, and ’blush’ using red powdered food colouring and a small brush.

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Dumpling Style 1
1. Outline the cookie with off white royal icing and leave to set.
2. ‘Flood’ the cookie with the same coloured icing, and leave to dry completely. 
3. Pipe on faces with black royal icing.
4. Add on ’blush’ using red powdered food colouring and a small brush.

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Dumpling Style 2
1. Ice the inner semi circle of the cookie with pale yellow icing and leave to set.
2. Using the same icing, pipe on every second fold of the dumpling and leave to set.
3. Fill in the rest of the folds, then leave to dry completely.
4. Add on faces with black icing, and a stream of tears with blue icing.

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Fondant Hearts
1.
Roll out pink fondant (or any fondant colour of choice).
2. Cut out heart shapes, using the same cutter used for the cookies, and stick onto the cookies with a little bit of water or edible adhesive.
3. Using a cookie stamp, stamp on your favourite quotes or punny pick up lines.
4. Leave to set completely before packaging.

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If you give these a go, be sure to tag me over on Instagram!
 
XOX
Vickie

Christmas Animal Donuts

Christmas is less than a week away, so I thought I would share some festive dessert decorating ideas with you guys - starting with these animal donuts!

Inspired by a white Christmas (which unfortunately I have never experienced as I live in Australia), I dreamt up some adorable donuts which would cheer anyone up. Because it’s the hole-yday season, you don’t even have to feel guilty about consuming one (or two, or three) too many of these donuts… that’s if you can bear to eat them! Diet starts in the new year, right? ;)

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Ingredients

  • Donuts! (store bought or homemade)
  • Compound chocolate (milk and white)
  • Oil based food dye: black
  • Marshmallows
  • Red M&M’s
  • Almonds/Pistachios
  • Sprinkles: white non pareils + holly
  • Royal icing: black + orange
  • Fondant: red, white + black
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Polar Bear
1.  Dip one end of the pistachios into melted chocolate, then stick into the donuts for the ears. When the chocolate has set, dip donut into melted white chocolate.  
2. Place a marshmallow into the donut hole and leave to dry.
3. Pipe on eyes with black royal icing, and stick on a small nose made from fondant. Roll out some white fondant and cut into thin strips to make the scarf. Stick on the donut with melted chocolate. 
4. Combine red gel food colouring and vegetable oil in a small bowl to make red edible paint. Paint stripes onto the fondant scarf.

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Penguin
1.
Dip the thicker end of the almonds into melted chocolate, then stick into the sides of the donuts for the wings. When the chocolate has set, dip donut into melted grey chocolate.
2. Places pre-made white chocolate circle in the centre of the donut as the *penguin bellies.
3. Pipe on the eyes with black royal icing, and the beak and feet with orange royal icing.
4. Using melted chocolate, add holly sprinkles onto the penguin’s belly. Lastly, stick the pre-made *santa hat into the top of the donut. 

*Penguin bellies: Melt white compound chocolate in the microwave or with a double boiler. Pour chocolate onto a lined baking tray, and spread thin and evenly. Tap the tray lightly on a kitchen bench to smooth out the chocolate, leaving to set until firm, but not completely hard. Use a small circle cookie cutter to carefully cut out the chocolate circles.

*Santa hats: Roll red fondant into a small cone shape. With water, attach a strip of white fondant around the bottom edge of the cone, and a small white fondant ball at the tip of the cone. When dry, dip the white sections into melted chocolate, followed by a coating of white non pareil sprinkles. Leaven to harden.

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Rudolph
1.
  Dip one end of the pistachios into melted chocolate, then stick them into the donuts for the ears. Attach a marshmallow into the donut hole.
2. When the chocolate has set, dip donut into melted milk chocolate. Add a red M&M in the middle of the donut for the nose, and holly sprinkles to represent a bow tie. 
3. Dip the bottom of the pre-made *chocolate antlers into melted chocolate, then stick into the top of the donut. 
4. Use black royal icing to pipe on the eyes.

Chocolate antlers: Melt dark compound chocolate in the microwave or with a double boiler. Alternatively, you can use milk chocolate with added black oil based colouring to create a dark brown. Transfer chocolate into a piping bag or bottle, then pipe out antlers onto a lined baking tray. Leave to harden completely before use.

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Have a tree-mendous holiday season!

XOX
Vickie

Totoro-lly kawaii cake pops

It’s Totoro Week! If you’ve been following along on my Instagram journey, you’ll know I have quite an obsession with Hayao Miyazaki’s film My Neighbour Totoro. It was one of my favourites as a child, and still is to this day. Created by my talented Instagram friends: Steph (I am a Food Blog) + Lyndsay (Coco Cake Land), Totoro Week (which is totoro-lly legit) falls on the last week of October. It's pretty much an excuse to make Totoro themed food, and I'm not complaining!

Given my (slight) obsession, it only seemed fitting to make something Totoro related for my first tutorial on this website. Hopefully these cuties will whisk you away! 

TOTORO CAKE POPSICLES
Makes 8 cake pops

Ingredients

  • 600g crumbed cake
  • Frosting or ganache
  • Almonds (for the ears)
  • 400g white chocolate melts 
  • Black oil based food colouring
  • White + green fondant
  • Black cookie/royal icing
  • Popsicle sticks

Method
1. To make cake pops: Using store bought or homemade cake (I used my favourite white chocolate mud), crumb with a mixer or food processor. Add in frosting or ganache, one small spoonful at a time. The amount needed will be dependant on the moistness of the cake. With the right amount of frosting, the mixture should come together when forming a ball, but shouldn’t be too wet.

2. When the mixture is ready, it is time to mould the pops. You can either use a mini popsicle mould, or shape them by hand. Place them on a baking tray lined with parchment paper, and then chill in the fridge for a couple of hours. Alternatively, you can put them in the freezer for 15 - 20 minutes to speed up the process. Be mindful that the cake pops should be firm, but not frozen. This will ensure the chocolate won’t crack after dipping!

3. To decorate: Place the chocolate melts in the microwave in 30 second intervals, stirring each time until completely melted. Ensure the bowl is deep enough for the cake pops to submerge in the chocolate when dipping. Add black oil based colouring one drop at a time, stirring until you’ve reached your desired colour. You may be required to add shortening or vegetable oil to thin out the chocolate in order to make the dipping process easier. 

4. Taking a few cake pops out of the fridge at a time, dip the end of the popsicle sticks in chocolate, then slowly push into the cake pops. Repeat this process with the almonds ears. When both have set, dip the pops into the melted grey chocolate, gently tapping your wrist to allow the excess chocolate to drip off. Place on baking tray to dry.

5. Roll and cut out white fondant for the eyes and belly. I used a jumbo straw for the eyes, and a small circle cookie cuter (with the end cut off) for the belly.  Stick on cake pops using melted chocolate as the ‘glue’. Place black and grey icing into piping bags with a small tip cut off, then pipe on finer details such as the face and belly features.

6. Roll out the green fondant, and either hand cut or use a mini leaf fondant cutter to make the leaf for Totoro’s head. Stick on cake pop with a bit of melted chocolate.

One at a time, dip popsicle sticks into melted chocolate, then insert into cake pop. Do the same with the almonds for the ears and allow to dry.

One at a time, dip popsicle sticks into melted chocolate, then insert into cake pop. Do the same with the almonds for the ears and allow to dry.

Dip the cake pops in grey melted chocolate, tapping your wrist gently to allow the excess chocolate to drip off. When the chocolate coat is completely dry, roll and cut out white fondant for the eyes and belly. Stick them onto the cake pop with melted chocolate. 

Dip the cake pops in grey melted chocolate, tapping your wrist gently to allow the excess chocolate to drip off. When the chocolate coat is completely dry, roll and cut out white fondant for the eyes and belly. Stick them onto the cake pop with melted chocolate. 

Pipe on the smaller details such as the face + belly features with royal icing. Top off with a mini fondant leaf. 

Pipe on the smaller details such as the face + belly features with royal icing. Top off with a mini fondant leaf. 

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Thanks for sticking around until the end ;)

Lots of love and popkissles,
Vickie x

Looking Sharp

Aloe world!
I thought I would kick off this blog with one of my favourite cookie creations from this year. For those of you who aren't aware, I've been writing guest posts over at Brit + Co for the last few months. Included is the how-to for these vanilla bean cacti cookies, which may just prickle your fancy!

CactusCookies
Print by  Honey and the Hive .

As this blog unfolds, I hope to inspire some of you along the way, and make you smile a little! 
Now don’t be a prick, share the cookie love ;) Head on over here for the full tutorial.

Lots of suc-cute-lent love,
Vickie x